The 2020 Census and You

Your Census Questions Answered

""Census Day for the 2020 Decennial Census is coming up on April 1! The goal of the Census is to count every person living in the United States on April 1, 2020 and to gather important information about those people. The data we get from the Census is very powerful. Since this is the first time many students will fill out the Decennial Census by themselves, we’ve summarized some fast facts about the census to help the UVU community stay informed.

What does the 2020 Census do?

  • Census data are used to make decisions about how and where to spend more than $800 billion each year for the programs and services communities like ours rely on.
  • Population counts help the government redistrict state legislative districts. The Utah State Legislature is responsible for creating and altering congressional, legislative, and school districts based on data from the Census.
  • The Census also helps state and local governments in forecasting needs like transportation and education—it can help us plan and implement programs and services for our communities.
  • Census data is also helpful for researchers and other citizens! The data we gather from the Census can help us learn more about our communities and plan for business decisions.

What’s different about the 2020 Census?

A few things have changed since the 2010 Census!

  • Online Self Response: For the first time ever, the Census Bureau is promoting online response as the preferred method for completing the census. You will receive an ID code in the mail to enter when completing the online form. You can also use your address instead of the code if you misplace or do not receive your code!
    • You can already start responding to the census! If you’ve received a code in the mail, or just want to get ahead of the curve, you can go to https://my2020census.gov/ to get started.
  • Same-Sex Relationship Options: If you are in a same-sex relationship or partnership, you will be able to indicate those relationships on the Census! Having comprehensive national data on the number of same-sex couples will help inform public policy and services relating to LGBTQIA+ people. However, some advocates have said this change does not do enough to count members of the LGBTQIA+ community who may not be married or in a partnership.

What about the citizenship question?

The "citizenship question" will NOT be included in the 2020 Census. No questions about your citizenship status will be asked on the Census. Three federal courts have blocked the Trump Administration’s attempt to get this question onto census forms. If you are not an American citizen, you can still complete the Census and will not be asked to provide documentation to prove citizenship status.

Should I fill out the Census?

Yes! But how you fill out the Census will depend on where you live and who you live with:

  • On April 1, if you currently live with your parent(s)/guardian(s), remind them to fill out the census form and to count you! You can help them fill it out online.
  • On April 1, if you are not currently living with your parent(s)/guardian(s), choose someone in your household (yourself, your spouse, a roommate) to fill out the census form for your household. Only one person per household should fill out the form, but they may need some information from you!
  • If you are an international student, you should still fill out the Census!
  • If on April 1, if you are experiencing homelessness, visit the Census's How we Count People Experiencing Homelessness page to learn about how you will be counted.

Remember, if you do not live with your parent(s)/guardian(s), they should NOT count you as part of their household, even if they still claim you as a dependent. This is important for ensuring accurate data about both communities. 

Does COVID-19 affect the Census?

It definitely could. As students leave college campuses and move home temporarily, parents and guardians may be tempted to count these students in their census forms. However, you should NOT count anyone temporarily displaced by COVID-19.

Also, the Census Bureau would prefer people fill the Census out online so they don’t need to send census workers out to collect data in person. Completing the Census online helps protect both your safety and the safety of census workers.

What should I do if I have questions about the 2020 Census?

You’ve got options!